Home exchange stories

An exchange holiday for your birthday?

Mandy Cavanagh is the newest Ambassador for Intervac. Here is a wonderful exchange story from her. If you have a great story too… tell us yours!


My husband is fortunate enough to have a birthday during the summer months, however, he is one of those ‘difficult’ people who can never think of any gift that they want! Last year, was a milestone birthday for him and I was determined to make it memorable even if the inevitable ‘just buy me a card.’ had already been uttered.

As unashamed Francophiles, we had already arranged an exchange with a couple in a village not too far from Lyon called Domarin and in late July we set off with our youngest son. With grown up children, we are now able to enjoy the journey rather than trying to get to our destination as quickly as possible so, for the second year, we stopped off overnight in Troyes. We stayed in the Aparthotel there and were able to stretch our legs while exploring the Medieval old town.

When we arrived at Domarin, we received a warm welcome from a neighbour who even managed to keep my husband’s birthday surprise quiet! The following day, my son and I set off for Lyon airport, as it became obvious where we were going, my husband became more convinced that we were going to make him jump out of a plane! He needn’t have worried, our lovely exchange partners had agreed to let my eldest son and a family friend stay for a few days as well and we picked them up without any trouble at the airport.




What a birthday to remember! The house itself was lovely, with a pool and a converted barn so everyone had enough space and we could all enjoy the fantastic weather. Having a mix of people with us through the holiday meant that we all enjoyed different experiences. My son enjoyed shopping in Lyon while I was able to go off with my friend to look at clothes ( a rare treat for me as I have three sons!).







We spent my husband’s actual birthday exploring the caves of La Balme, a cool, magical experience, and respite from the heat. We loved the village of Perouges, and because of the lack of cars, it was easy to be transported back in time there. Further afield, we explored Annecy, a bustling, beautiful town on the lake and enjoyed people-watching with a wine in hand!



Back near the house, we went for evening drives in the countryside, had a rare sighting of a HUGE badger and finished our days with a swim in the pool, marvelling at our 19 year old and 24 year old sons racing on inflatable unicorns!

We have exchanged with other partners in France, Bruges, and England and know that, as well as the economic advantages of an exchange, we wouldn’t get the same experiences on a package holiday. I can’t wait for this year’s trip to Avignon…


Become the next Intervac Ambassador

We are always looking for experienced members interested in helping us spread the word about Intervac and home exchange.

Can I become an Intervac Ambassador?

If you are an experienced Intervac member and would like to help us spread the word about Intervac and home exchange, we invite you to become an ambassador.

Are there any Ambassadors in my country already?

The current Ambassadors can be seen in this post. Even if there is already an Ambassador in your country, do send in your application as we can accept more than one per country.

What is an Intervac Ambassador supposed to do?

We expect each Ambassador to:

  • send one (or more!) exchange stories that we can share on our blog, newsletter, and social media
  • tell their friends about Intervac (ah, you were doing this already, right?)
  • answer questions from new members
  • be available for interviews by journalists in their country

Are there any benefits?


First of all, you get 3 months free on your membership when you become an Ambassador.

And you get a special badge on your listing 🙂



Where do I start?

Simply fill this form! And if you want to send us the longer version of the exchange story with  one or more pictures right away that is great, send it to editor@intervac.com, If you don’t have it ready, don’t worry. Send us the application now and the exchange story can come in later.

Become an Intervac Ambassador
Please tell us when the exchange took place and where. What made that exchange special? Write a short version of it here, we will get in touch to know more and ask you for an illustrating phot.